Next to Christmas, Halloween is the children’s most awaited annual event. As with all other American states, practically all communities of Massachusetts have lined up a whole array of exciting activities to grace the Halloween season. There are parties, street parades, and the highlight of the night, trick or treating.
Sadly, there have been at least a few unfortunate Halloween-related mishaps, all due to a combination of carelessness and just plain ill luck. According to statistics, most accidents on the road and indoors occur between 6:00 to 7:00 PM, the peak hour for trick or treating.
You don’t want your family to be part of the accident statistics anytime at all. As parents, you should be aware of the following Halloween safety tips. Relay them to your kids before you allow them to go trick or treating.
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Costumes. Your child may want to be a princess, a monster, or a superhero. Whatever the costume is, make sure that its parts are securely in place, no loose ends that would cause snagging or tearing. The costume should not be too heavy. If there’s a headgear or mask, make sure that the opening is big enough for your child to be able to see around his surroundings. Better yet, use face paint or makeup instead of masks or headgears. Before going outside for trick or treating, your child should test out the costume at home first to make sure it’s not too heavy and that it doesn’t cause slipping or tripping. Especially be careful with oversized footwear (such as with clown and animal costumes) that might be hazardous on the stairs. Make sure wings, tails, or headdresses can go safely between doorways. Your child should use only safe accessories, nothing that is fire-lit. Most of all, costumes must be flame-resistant.
Visibility on the road. Your child should bring a flashlight or neon stick. Place reflecting adhesive tape on parts of his costume so that he will be visible to motorists at night. Remind him to avoid dark places, use the sidewalks, and cross only at intersections and pedestrian lanes.
Safety in numbers. As much as possible, your child should go with a group, and to stay with that group until the end of the activity. A group of trick or treaters is much more visible to motorists. A child who is alone will stand the risk of getting hit by a car, trip, falling down, and getting kidnapped. Teach them what to do if ever they find themselves left behind. Better yet, remind the older members of the group to keep an eye on the younger ones and make sure nobody gets left behind.
Getting help. Just in case the inevitable happens, your children should get help immediately from neighbors or passersby. Your child should also know where to call in case of an emergency. They should never leave an injured companion alone. And they should be ready to give a narrative of the incident to police and paramedics, so that these people will know exactly how to handle the accident. Teach them to record car plate numbers and recall vehicle features (important in case of a hit-and-run accident).
By Todd D. Beauregard